Saturday, March 12, 2011

March thoughts

    I don't think this is relevant to any particular area of anybody's interest, but since sometimes I vent my frustration here, I decided to put my recent observations and their results in here. I rarely use the word "hate", sometimes as a joke to emphasise something (like I hate SBS management system, yess...), but lately I came to one conclusion - I really hate dilettantes. In most of the dictionaries this word is used as the synonym to "amateur", but as much as amateur may have the positive side to it, dilettante, on the other hand, doesn't.

   To all reading the rest - it's a generalization, so don't feel offended. I'm not talking about you in person. But when I encounter ten, twenty or fifty people who display such trait and one or two who don't, statistics is all what's left. "The death of one person is a tragedy, the death of 100 thousands is just statistics" (Hitler). Yes, I quoted this guy, why not? I can quote even Shinran even though I think the whole Pure Land idea is a plain crap. I can quote Asahara, and I'd have tons of fun laughing in his beardy face. Quoting someone doesn't mean following or liking that person

   The worst group, based on my own personal experience, are students without any degree but studying for a year or two. They think they are smarter, wiser, more knowledgeable than the professor who teaches them. I don't know about the other parts of the world, but here, in my Europe, suddenly the position of students arose, and (Physics is right again) the authority of professors decreased. I'm not talking about my own, personal experience, but I observe and see how the things are progressing (or maybe better - regressing). Those who prefer reading wikipedia page than a real book on some topic are just dumb or lazy. Or both. Students in schools and Unis rely on wikipedia, rely on websites that give them short versions of some event or book. But here's the thing - there is no shortcut to deep knowledge. In real life there are no shortcuts either. Of course, one may go "in a shorter" way in, ie. relationships, but what we got? Fuck Before Talk. Sounds like a drama title? It is.
   I have never in my life read the short versions of the books. I have never relied on recapitulations. Even now, I don't read those for dramas. The reason is simple - subjectivism. Recapitulations are filtered by a certain personality and state of mind that some things find useful and others - meaningless. For me it can be vice versa. Students who do that deprive themselves of the possibility to invite into their scarce thoughts mindset new ideas that may help them in the future. Because young people think of "here and now". Everything in 2000 is considered as "ancient", and 2012 is considered as a distant future.
   Dilettante is someone who displays a knowledge on something but it's not deeper than a teaspoon. Other people with brain capacity on the same or lower level will think: "Oh, he/she is so smart. He/she knows everything we talk about!". I remember when I was a student during my Japanese studies. We had lots of spoken Japanese, grammar, descriptive grammar and all those philological stuff that most of nowadays students find useless and tiresome. From time to time I visited "Internet cafes" for some stuff and visited different fora. Also, sometimes, not that often, I talked to some people outside my studies (yes, I was a dilligent student, this is why I loved Seonjun from SKKS right away) and some of them tried to prove me I'm wrong in some aspects. It's not like I'm an Absolute, and Alpha and Omega, but there are things I'm 1000% sure. Like the fact that it was all Stalin's fault that Korean War started or Oda Nobunaga wasn't shougun.
Those people heard something somewhere, usually out of context, and they believed so firmly in what they were saying I felt kind of pity for them. There is this proverb in my native tongue describing this situation: "The bells are ringing, but in which church?". That means - I know something but I can't pin down where I heard it, who said this etc.
   Back to the point. In the past I was infuriated by all those comments and the wall of ignorance, right now I just shrug indifferently and all I can think is, "well, if those people are happy being dumb, I'm not going to ruin their illusion". Sometimes I feel perversive pleasure in that, but usually I don't care. People who watched 2 anime or 5 dramas are suddenly experts on Japanese/Korean/Asian language, culture, history. The bad thing is - there is no reasoning with them. I know this stage, I experienced it myself over 15 years ago when my fascination for Japan started. Everything was great. I tried to convince myself to many things, repeating like a mantra: "It's Japanese, it HAS to be great". With time my passion vanished and all I was left with was reality. There is nothing like a perfect nation/culture. So by saying that we are exposed to be perceived as fanatics, not normal people.
   Socrates said once "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." This applies to the situation I feel right now. I don't think I will ever call myself an expert on Asia (mainly Japan and Korea), but I heard students calling themselves an expert in linguistics (yes, this one idiot who wrote that doesn't study linguistics or any language at all), or in Culture Studies, etc. Behind every book I'm reading there is another one. And after that another one - other book. This is some neverending hall with a door hidden behind the next door.
This all frustrates me. I was pretty sure I had the clear concept of my work, but suddenly it all just went wild. And arrogant ignorance of some people just ticks me off. I know I'm a bitch, and in such situations I feel an overwhelming need to show them their place in line.
I'm really grateful that all I had when I was young was a library nearby and a librarian who was my Mom's friend. Not a PC. Internet is handy but it's also making us lazy.
I'm just frustrated, bitter and waiting for a full Spring.

The end of the bitching.
In the next episode - You're my cat pet. Bitch mode ignited.

Galanthus nivalis picture source